Latitudes mediate the association between influenza activity and meteorological factors: A nationwide modelling analysis in 45 Japanese prefectures from 2000 to 2018
Publication in refereed journal


Cold and dry conditions were well-documented as a major determinant of influenza seasonality in temperate countries but the association may not be consistent when the climate in temperate areas is closer to that in sub-tropical areas. We hypothesized latitudes may mediate the association between influenza activity and meteorological factors in 45 Japanese prefectures.

We used the weekly incidence of influenza-like illness of 45 prefectures from 2000 to 2018 as a proxy for influenza activity in Japan, a temperate country lying off the east coast of Asia. A combination of generalized additive model and distributed lag nonlinear model was adopted to investigate the associations between meteorological factors (average temperature, relative humidity, total rainfall, and actual vapour pressure, a proxy for absolute humidity) and the influenza incidence. Kendall’s tau b (s) and Spearman correlation coefficient (rs) between latitude and the adjusted relative risk (ARR) of each meteorological factor were also assessed.

A higher vapour pressure was significantly associated with a lower influenza risk but the ARR strongly weakened along with a lower latitude (s = 0.23, p-value = 0.02; rs = 0.33, p-value = 0.03). Lower temperature and lower relatively humidity were significantly associated with higher influenza risks in over 65% and around 40% of the prefectures respectively but the strength and significance of the correlations between their ARRs and latitude were weaker than that from vapour pressure.

Even though the range of latitudes in Japan is small (26 degrees N-43 degrees N), the relationships between meteorological factors and influenza activity were mediated by the latitude. Our study echoed absolute humidity played a more important role in relating influenza risk, but we on the other hand showed its effect on influenza activity could be hampered in a low-latitude temperate region, which have a warmer climate. These findings thus offer a high-resolution characterization of the role of meteorological factors on influenza seasonality.
著者Chong KC, Liang JB, Jia KM, Kobayashi N, Wang MHT, Wei L, Lau SYF, Sumi A
期刊名稱Science of the Total Environment
關鍵詞Influenza, Temperature, Humidity, Latitude, Japan

上次更新時間 2021-06-03 於 23:46